The only people coming to ours is our wedding rehearsal party. Which includes my four children ages 18-11, his 11 year old niece (along with both her parents). His brother who’s grown. His mom, my mother, my step grandmother, minister, his aunt/uncle who’s coming out of town (oh their also paying for their own dinner). About a total of 22 people. We’re only having people who are directly involved with the wedding party.
My sister/MOH, my 2 daughters/bridesmaid and fg, my bff/other bm, the BM and his gf (the reason shes coming is bc they're both from out of town and have a long distance relationship so they dont see each other a lot) and our 4 sons/gm and rb. We *might* have the parents there so they can practice going down the isle and make sure our songs are long enough. We're literally only having people that are in the wedding there minus the one exception
The only ones who are mandatory are those who are participating in the rehearsal and their SOs. If you skip the rehearsal, you don't need a rehearsal dinner at all. Your officiant can just tell everyone the order to walk and where to stand, a few minutes before the ceremony.
We’re having the wedding party and their plus ones, parents on both sides, flower girls, ring bearer (their parents are all in the wedding) and the officiant. Already with that we’re over 30 people so we’re just keeping it to that amount.
Nobody unless your officiant is a long time clergy or personal friend . But remember that for a formal sit down dinner, couples not individuals are invited for any wedding party who have spouses or SO. Grandparents, and brothers and sisters (and SO) of B & G may be invited, but very often do not attend. Rehearsal dinners are very often held one or 2 weekends before the wedding, rather than immediately after the rehearsal, if the wedding is within a short distance of home area, and only get pushed to the night before the wedding when everyone is traveling and in hotels. Especially church weddings, where rehearsals for local people are often half an hour on a weekday early evening. And wedding party who are a long ways away do not usually bother with the actual rehearsal. But if your dinner is at a different but more convenient time, like an earlier weekend, more will attend the dinner because it is convenient for SO. And when at an earlier time, no one is tempted to insist on inviting out of town guests. So local, versus hotel away from home, makes a big difference. And with a local weekday rehearsal, you can just gather local people, filling in others informally before the wedding. Then all go home, with RD the previous or following weekend.